As special education needs rose through the last decade, federal and state funding fell off.
School districts have seen a widening gap between the cost of special education services and what state and federal funding covers — called a cross subsidy.
Gov. Tim Walz has proposed an additional $77 million in education funding to address the gap. That proposal stops the gap from growing but doesn’t cover the difference districts already face, which is in the millions of dollars for most districts.
The average gap in funding for school districts in the Association of Metropolitan School districts was $847 per pupil in 2017, according to Minnesota Department of Education reports. The gap was about $859 per pupil unit.